Onions. Red, white, yellow, sweet, and even shallots. Some people love 'em, some people hate 'em. Which one are you? I personally love onions. They give a little somethin' somethin' to foods. Just think about foods that need onions. Philly Cheesesteaks! Sausage w/ Peppers and Onions! Burgers! Tacos!
I think the main culprit as to why people dislike raw onions is not only the harsh flavor, but the aftertaste. I can totally understand that. Sometimes, it's even too much for me if a restaurant doesn't take care of removing some of it. But I have a solution and it's pickled onions! Sweet, tangy, crunchy, oniony but the harshness has magically disappeared!
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- The key to pickling, in my opinion, is to have your pickling liquid extremely warm to just before boiling when adding it to the desired vegetable, in this case onions. It slightly blanches and cooks the onion a little bit to remove more of the harsh flavor and penetrates the onion better yet at the same time, maintains the crispness of the onions. Just dissolving the sugar in the vinegar at room temperature, which would happen over time, and adding it to the onions will take much longer and doesn't take away much of the harshness
- What vinegar should I use? Well, different vinegars have different intensities. Some people say to not use white vinegar because it's too intense...but sometimes all you have on hand is white vinegar! Just remember, because vinegars vary, your sugar will vary! A rice vinegar will use much less sugar whereas white vinegar uses a lot. You're looking for a combo that is tangy and sweet at the same time.
Quick Pickled Red Onion
Recipe by Me
1 red onion, sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh Herbs such as thyme or rosemary
Red Pepper Flakes
1 Garlic clove, sliced
Remove the outer layers of the red onion to reveal the smooth and clean flesh. Slice the onion down the middle along the root, and then into strips about 1/8 inch thick (alternatively, rings can be made by cutting the onion, "onion ring style"). Place the cut onions into a bowl. Rinse the onions under cold water while separating the individual layers, about 3 times, to remove some of the harsh flavor of the onion. Drain any excess water and set aside the bowl of onion slices.
In a microwavable measuring cup, measure out the vinegar and add in the sugar. Microwave the mixture for about 1 minute or until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in any optional flavorings desired and mix thoroughly. Pour the warm liquid over the onions and mix. Allow to sit for at least 20-25 min. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should last a couple of weeks.